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This past weekend there was quite a discussion on the Mountain Equipment Co-op Facebook page about tips about hiking with a toddler. While there were lots of good tips, surprisingly one of the most common ‘tips’ was “Don’t”. To all those naysayers I say “Do”. Aside from the health benefits, for us, hiking as a family is one of our favourite activities and has provided many hours of enjoyment and happiness. When we had our son, we made a concious decision not to change our active, outdoor lifestyle. Rather we’ve adapted it and continued to do so as our son has grown to have fun as a family – this has paid off with dividends. There’s nothing better than asking your son what he wants to do and he responds with “hiking in the mountains” and last weekend he surprised even us on his ability.

We stopped at the trailhead for Yamnuska primarily so that I could take some photos of the wildflowers. This mountain trail is by no means a toddler hike and we had no intention on following it past the first gentle slope before continuing on to Flowing Water Interpretive Trail. Well, let’s just say the Flowing Water trail is still on our bucket list. To our surprise M wanted to “climb the mountain” and he, with a very little hand holding, made it up to one of the viewpoints overlooking Bow Valley. After a little picnic on the rocks, we explored a little further down the trail before heading back to the truck. In total, the hike was about 2.5 kilometres with an elevation gain (and loss) of 115 metres. Not bad for 3 years old.

Gear Review -Hi‑Tec Altitude IV Jr. Approach Boots

We bought M his Hi-Tec Altitude IV boots at Mountain Equipment Co-op about a month a go and since then, these boots have seen it all – rain, mud, rock, sand, scree, concrete. Though we cringed at the price tag, I have to say that the price is worth it. These boots are the real thing and perform exceptionally well. Even on the slickest and steepest trails, the soles provided superior traction and his feet are well supported. I love the fact that the tongue is fully gusseted – not only does it keep out the trail dirt and increase the depth of waterproofing, it also makes it hard for the tongue to get pushed into the boot – always frustrating for little ones. Light enough to run and jump in, grippy enough to climb boulders and sturdy enough for any adventure, these are Ms choice of footwear. 

Features (as per MEC website):

  • Uppers are waterproofed, seam-sealed, full-grain leather.
    • Moisture-wicking linings keep feet dry and comfortable.
    • Fully gusseted leather tongues keep out trail grit and gravel.
    • Midsoles are a light EVA compound with a partial shank for some torsional rigidity.
    • Grippy, multi-directional carbon rubber outsoles for firm traction and good durability.